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Nancy Knows by Cybele Young
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Nancy Knows

by Cybele Young

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This is an unusual hardcover picture book. On each page there is a black ink outline drawing of an elephant named Nancy. The inside of her body is filled with tiny items that pertain to the story.

It begins, “Nancy knows she’s forgotten something. Something important…” On each page Nancy considers items she may have forgotten. At the beginning her jumbled thoughts are portrayed by tiny paper, straw, and stick fragments. As her thoughts become classified, the pictures become clearer. Her body is filled with thoughts of things with wheels, clothes, places and colors. Some items are recognizable and some are abstract artistic creations.

Although this is a picture book with a simple story, the illustrations seem suited for school-age children to discuss. Younger children will be bewildered by the impressive but unusual paper creations.

This book lends itself well to a discussion on memory and thought processes. What kinds of strategies do we used to remember? How do we organize our thoughts? What can we learn from Nancy? ( )
  Bonnie_Ferrante | Jul 10, 2016 |
Brilliant. ?The text reads like a free verse poem. ?áThe art shows what it's like to have all sorts of thoughts in one's head... but Nancy the elephant, like the child reader, is innocent enough to feel a true mind-body connection and *feel* thoughts all through one's body. ?áSometimes the thoughts are organized this way, sometimes that, sometimes they're chaotic... and often they're outside of the thinker's control. ?á

And her heart remembers things from all different places, all kinds of times and all sorts of spaces,..."

Some children will latch onto this and never let it go. ?áA board book edition should be made for them. ?áOthers will want it read to them every single night as part of their bedtime ritual. ?áI highly recommend you investigate, and see what it means to you, and *also* try it out on your little one or partner even if it doesn't charm you.

I am still pondering the ending, though; I, personally, don't think it quite fits. ?á

I will look for more by the author." ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
2.5 The beginning of the book is nice for helping students put objects in groups/categories ( )
  CommunityLibrarian | Nov 26, 2015 |
(184) ( )
  activelearning | Dec 6, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Nancy Knows reminded me of the I Spy series of books in the way that the illustrations are comprised of lots of beautifully photographed objects that children can pick out and identify. Here there is an added story of an element, drawn simply, who has forgotten something. Every time she tries to remember what she's forgotten, the image changes to include items she thinks about ("things with wheels, things like clothes," etc). The objects are inside the elephant's shape, so the overall effect is quite striking and interesting.

Plotwise, the final reveal of what Nancy the Elephant forgot seems to come out of left field and isn't well integrated with the rest of the story, so the ending did not feel as satisfying as it could be.

Overall, a fun and beautiful picture book. ( )
  sylliu | Nov 18, 2014 |
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